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I should read more

Posted Mon 31 May, 2021.

I used to read around 10 books a year -12 on a good one-. I had that habit of reading a couple of chapters before going to sleep, and on holidays I would allocate some time in the afternoon to lose my self in a good novel.

That was perhaps 20 years ago, and depending on "life requirements" I would read more or less. Like when I had 45 minutes commute by train: I could finish a book in a week. Of course you are not always in the mental state to read, specially after a long day or work, but it did work for me.

Then I moved closer to the office an my commute was 30 minutes walk, and that's when I changed my habits because it also happened that I was feeling very productive and working on side projects at home meant that I wasn't going to bed early, or that I was tired and, between having a bit more of sleep or reading a book, too often I decided that I needed to rest. Arguably I swapped reading time for physical activity, which is not bad!

Then we had children, life got busier, and basically I got to the conclusion that I can only do *one* thing in my free time. And currently that thing is side projects, sometimes making a game, sometimes learning some new tech or refreshing my skills for work (like writing a Gemini server using Scala and Akka streams!), but I can't seem to be able to go back to read. Is like I don't have patience, or that I can't concentrate or focus on the story until I "connect". There are a handful of books I would love to read and I seem to be stuck in the first chapter, for ever.

I don't know if it is a consequence of my computer habits (I don't use a lot of social media, but I see how it can easily waste my free time), because thinking about it, my "reading time" was always away from a computer; and all my side projects are in front of a computer. All these years doing the same, it may have changed how my brain works. Or is just that I'm getting older.

In any case, do I really need to read more? Shouldn't I accept that I won't be reading and move on? And this is when it gets tricky: I think I miss it, and I suspect I *need* to revert some of those changes in my brain (assuming that "getting younger" is not possible, that is!).

I wouldn't like to stop doing what I do, specially regarding game development. It makes me happy, and it was so difficult to get where I am right now that I'm afraid that if I stop doing it, it will be gone for ever; but I should (and will!) schedule some reading time every week and try to stop concentrating on just one thing in my free time. Surely my side projects will slow down, but I have that theory that my brain will work better after I get back to my reading habit.

We will see if it really has any effect!

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